US2887543A - Time switch - Google Patents

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US2887543A
US2887543A US617572A US61757256A US2887543A US 2887543 A US2887543 A US 2887543A US 617572 A US617572 A US 617572A US 61757256 A US61757256 A US 61757256A US 2887543 A US2887543 A US 2887543A
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switch
arm
shaft
latch
operative
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US617572A
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Edward J Butler
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Edward J Butler
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G04HOROLOGY
    • G04CELECTROMECHANICAL CLOCKS OR WATCHES
    • G04C23/00Clocks with attached or built-in means operating any device at preselected times or after preselected time-intervals
    • G04C23/14Mechanisms continuously running to relate the operation(s) to the time of day
    • G04C23/26Mechanisms continuously running to relate the operation(s) to the time of day for operating a number of devices at different times
    • G04C23/28Mechanisms continuously running to relate the operation(s) to the time of day for operating a number of devices at different times with contacts operated, or formed, by clock hands or elements of similar form

Description

May 19, 1959 E. J. BUTLER 2,337,543
TIME SWITCH Filed 001;. 22, 1956 a Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR,
awn/yaw ATTORNEYS.
May 19, 1959 E. J. BUTLER v 2,887,543
TIME SWITCH Filed Oct. 22, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 yfi INVENTOR ATTORNEYS.
' May 19, 1959 E. J. BUTLER TIME SWITCH 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Oct. 22, 1956 INVENTOR ATTORNEYS.
United States PatentO TIME SWITCH Edward J. Butler, Seekonk, Mass.
Application October 22, 1956, Serial No. 617,572
6 Claims. (Cl. 20037) This invention relates to an automatic time switch, and has particular reference to such a switch which may control one or a plurality of electric branch circuits to both open and close them at predetermined times in each cycle of operation.
The switches of the several branch circuits are individually and independently controlled, thereby permitting energization of the respective circuits at different times and over different periods.
A particular feature of the invention consists in the simplified arrangement of the several switches and their control means, whereby the control means for the switches may be easily and independently adjusted to close and open each switch at any desired points or times during each operational cycle of the time switch. Thus where the time switch is arranged to complete an operational cycle each twenty-four hour period, the several branch circuits will be energized over predetermined periods of each day. Accordingly such a device is particularly adapted for use in controlling circuits which include electrical fixtures, such as signs, boiler controls, lights, etc which are to be respectively energized over the same periods of each day or other operational cycle of the time switch.
It is a further feature of the invention to provide a main switch controlling the supply of electrical energy to the several branch circuits, and controlled in timed relation to said operational cycle to disrupt the supply of electrical energy to all of said branch circuits on certain predetermined operational cycles. Thus, for instance, where each operational cycle extends over a twenty-four hour period, with the several branch circuits energized respectively at identical periods each day, the main switch may be controlled to prevent energization of the branch circuits on certain preselecteddays such as Sundays or holidays.
Certain additional and highly advantageous features consist in the arrangement employed for moving the branch switches to and latching them in one operative position, together with the means employed for releasing their latches, all by a simple and highly ingenious mechanism.
In general, the invention provides a new and useful time switch which will remain operative without attention or adjustment for as long as desired, except that when its operation is to extend continuously over a period of years, it will require resetting on leap years.
The foregoing objects and advantages are attained by thepreferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
Figure l is a diagrammatic perspective view of a time switch in accordance with the invention;
'Figure 2 is a plan view of the branch switches and their actuating means;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary side elevation of one such switch and its associated latch;
Figure 4 is a diagrammatic view of a modified arrangement of the timing chain orelement;
Figure 5 is a perspective view of a portion of the timing chain such as employed in the structure of Figures 1 and 4; and
Figure 6 is a diagrammatic view of a further modified arrangement of the flexible timing element;
Referring in detail to the accompanying drawings, reference character 10 designates a usual electric clock motor or other constant speed motor which drives a suitably rotatably supported timing shaft 12 through the drive pinion 14 of the motor which meshes with a driven gear 16 keyed on the shaft 12. The speed and arrangement of the motor 10 and the ratio of the gears 14, 16 is such that the shaft 12 will be turned in a clockwise direction one complete revolution per day or other given time unit.
Fixed on the shaft 12 for rotation therewith is a dial 18 having its face marginally calibrated in suitable time units, as for instance the 24 hours of the day.
Mounted on the end of the shaft 12 in front of the dial 18 for rotation with the shaft and preferably for adjustment to any of various angular positions around the axis of the shaft are a series of control arms which are preferably arranged in one or more identical pairs 2020a. These are disposed and adapted to actuate, at given times, devices or mechanisms disposed within their respective paths of rotation. The control arm 20 may be more specifically identified as a latch release arm and the control arm 20a may be more specifically identified as the switch latching arm, all as will appear more fully hereinafter. I
For the purpose of permitting ready adjustment of the respective arms 20 and 20a to various angular positions about the shaft 12, each such arm may have its radially inner end fixedly secured to and carried by a bushing or annular collar 22, the several collars 22 with their respective arms being normally held against rotation and in their preselected angular positions by means of a wing nut 24 threaded on the end of shaft 12. When tightened against the collars 22 this wing nut will, of course, compress them against the face of the dial 18 and thereby frictionally retain all of said collars and their associated arms 20 and 20a against rotation.
For the purpose of facilitating resetting of the timing shaft 12 and its associated arms 20 and 20a whenever required, there is provided a more or less conventional resetting mechanism. Such mechanism is exemplified by the manually controllable crank 26 having its shaft rotatably journalled through the supporting elements 28 and 30 which are shown fragmentarily only. It will be seen that the shaft of the crank 26 is supported in alignment with the timing shaft 12 and normally is urged axially away from the end of the shaft 12 by spring 32 compressed between the supporting element 30 and a radial flange 34 fixed on the shaft. Thus normally the .crank 26 is disengaged from the timing shaft 12. When it is desired to operatively connect the crank 26 to the shaft 12 it will be seen that the shaft of crank 26 may be urged axially through its supports 28 and 30 against the resilient action of the spring 32, whereby conventional clutch member 33 on the crank shaft may be operatively engaged with a mating clutch member 35 at the adjacent end of the timing shaft 12. H
Disposed for actuation by each pair of control arms 20 and 20a is a conventional electric switch which may be of the tiltable mercury type designated by the reference character 36. Each such switch 36 is arranged to control a branch circuit including terminal wires 38 and 40 connected in circuit with the switch in the usual man{ ner. Preferably the several branch circuits including these wires 38 and 40 are operatively connected in paralf lel to a main supply circuit 41 receiving'electric' current from any suitable source and transmitting it through the Several 'branch circuits as permitted by their respective switches 36. The several branch circuits may be respectively operatively connected to various electrical appliances or devices such as motors, lights, signs, boiler control devices, heaters or the like. Such devices are not shown in the drawings inasmuch as they constitute no part of the instant invention. However, it will be seen that by controlling the several branch circuits the invention will be operative to individually control the respective appliances or devices included in these circuits and to energize each of them during a predetermined portion of each revolution of timing shaft 12. Thus where the timing shaft 12 is rotated through one complete revolution per day the several circuits will be closed by actuation of their respective switches 36 throughout a predetermined portion of each day.
Each switch 36 embodies a generally cylindrical hollow casing 42 medially nunnioned as at 44 on a bracket 46 fixed on a stationary frame element 48. Each such case 42 is biased about its trunnions 44 toward one of its operative positions by suitable means such as gravity or,
as exemplified in the drawing, by a coiled torque spring 50 disposed around the trunnions 44 with its opposite "ends connected to the switch casing 42 and its respective supporting bracket 46.
In the embodiment shown the several switches 36 are all resiliently biased toward closed position wherein the mercury 52 bridges the gap between the terminals of the wires 38 and 40.
' 'For retaining each switch 36 in open position as in the case of the extreme right hand switch 36 shown in Figure 1 of the drawing, there is provided a latch comprising a resiliently laterally defiectable upright leaf spring 54 fixed at its lower end on support 48 and positioned so that its generally horizontal detent portion 56 "will overhang the switch control arm 58 of its associated switch. Where the switch is of the bodily tiltable mercury type as in the present instance its control 'arm 58 may be rigidly connected to and in effect constitutes'an extension of the switch casing 42.
Though the several switches 36 shown in the drawing are all of the bodily tiltable type, with their control arms 58' projecting generally toward and in radial planes of the shaft 12, it is not essential that the switches 36 be of any particular type so long as they have control arms or elements which are movable with the respective control arms 20a from one operative position to the other in the manner hereinafter described.
' Cam elements 60 which may comprise integral curved portions of each such spring latch 54 project above the detent portions 56 of the respective latches. The curved cam surfaces of these elements are disposed in the paths of operative movement of the respective switch arms 58 in such manner that as the switch arms 58 are swung downwardly to open their respective switches their engagement with the cams 60 will serve to laterally deflect the latch of each switch to one side as the switch arm moves downwardly past the detent 56. The resiliency of the latch 54 will'then cause it to immediately snap back and return the detent 56 to latching position over arm' 58 as soon as the arm has moved downwardly below the detent. Latch 54 will then continue to hold the switch in open position until released in the manner hereinafter described.
'In' addition to cooperating with its respective switch arm 58 in the manner above mentioned, the cam portion 60 of each latch also cooperates with the latch release arm-20 of its respective switch. To this end the cam portion 60 extends axially of the shaft 12 across the radial 'plane of rotation of its associated latch release arm 20. Thus when the arm 20 rotates downwardly in a crosswise direction into operativeengagement with cam 60 the resulting lateral deflection of the latch will release the switch arm. 58 and permit swinging of the switch tsca lts closed position under the influence of the spring In order to avoid interference between each switch arm 58 and its associated latch release arm 20 it will be noted that these arms are relatively displaced in a direction axiallyof the shaft 12 to move in separate radial planes relative to the shaft 12, and the cam 60 intersects both of these planes for cooperation with both of the arms 58 and 20.
After the latch release arm 20 has engaged the cam 60 of its associated latch to permit closing of switch 36, the circuit controlled by this switch will remain energized for a predetermined period of time as determined by the relative angular setting between its respective control arms 20 and 20a. At the end of this period the switch actuating arm 20a engages and swings the switch arm 58 to its other operative position to open the switch in the present embodiment. To this end each switch actuating arm 20a rotates in a path which is axially displaced from cam 60 of its associated latch 54 in position for actuating engagement with a similarly displaced portion 62 of the switch arm 58, such portion 62 being exemplified by the angularly bent axially extending end portion of the switch arm 58 in the present embodiment.
For purposes of illustration there are shown three branch circuits the separate wires of which are designated by the numerals 38, 40 in each case. Each of these is controlled through its own switch 36, and the control shaft 12 accordingly is provided with three sets of control arms 20 and 20a for cooperation with the respective switches and their associated latches. However, it will be readily apparent that more or less circuits or switches may be vemployed. In any event, the switches will be operable to independently control their respective circuits over any predetermined periods of time during each complete rotation or cycle of the timing shaft 12. Thus for each rotation of the shaft 12 the several switches 36 as thus far described will duplicate their cycles of operation. When the shaft 12 makes a complete rotation each 24-hour period it will control the several circuits 38, .40 daily to energize and de-energize them at predetermined times in accordance with the settings of their respective control arms 20 and 20a.
Where the several branch circuits 38-40 supply electrical energy to boiler controls, manufacturing equipment or the like it may not be desirable to energize them dur ing each day of the year, but it will normally be desirable to maintain the several circuits completely open and thus avoid operation of the appliances controlled thereby at certain times such as Saturdays, Sundays and holidays or other preselected days. In order that none of the branch circuits will be supplied with electrical energy at such times there is provided a main switch 64 in the main supply circuit 41 together with a master timing means driven from the clock motor 10 in coordination with the shaft 12 for opening such switch on predetermined days or other periods.
The said master timing means is exemplified by rotatably supported shaft 66 driven from the timing shaft 12 through reduction gearing 68, 70, 72, 74, 76 and 78 in 'a manner to make one complete circuit for a predetermined number of rotations of timing shaft 12. Fixed on the shaft 66 is a drive sprocket 80 which drives a timing chain 82 moving in an endless circuit around sprocket 80 and a series of idler wheels 81, 83 and 85. The chain 82 has an operative run which will move downwardly from sprocket 80 toward idler wheel 85 and carries projecting cam portions 86 on its respective links. These portions conjointly define a cam surface or profile pro ecting from the chain in the plane of its closed circuit. The arrangement is such that the operative cam surface or profile thus formed is in controlling engagement with the free or follower end of the control arm 88 of main switch 64. The said cam surface will be such as tonormally .hold the switch arm 88 in position to close the circuit 41. However, this surface will be formed at de sir edinter'vals with depressions or gaps 90 for permittmg movement of the switch control arm 88 to a switch opening position whereby the passage of electrical current through the circuit 41 and each of the branch circuits above mentioned will be interrupted. The edges 92 of the cam portions adjoining these gaps 90 will be inclined to guide the end of the follower arm 88 back on to the cam surface and thus again close the switch 64 after movement of each gap 90 past the arm 88.
As is best shown in Figure 5, the flexible sprocket chain of the preferred embodiment is preferably provided with one link 85 for each day of a usual calendar year, and the rotational speed of the drive sprocket 80 is such as to move the chain at the rate of one link per day past the arm 88. The several chain links representing days on which the main switch 64 is to remain closed will be provided with the cam segments 86 such as above mentioned. However, links which represent holidays or other days of the year on which the switch 64 is to remain open will have the cam segments removed therefrom to leave the gaps 90, all as above mentioned.
The switch 64 controlled by the arm 88 is illustrated as being of the tiltable mercury type carried by a supporting radial arm 94 fixed to one end of a shaft 96 which is rotatably carried by a fixed bracket 98. The switch control arm 88 is fixed to and depends radially from the shaft 96 whereby its free or upper end may operatively engage the cam segments 86. However, the particular form and arrangement of switch 64 is by no means essential.
In the operation of the invention it will, therefore, be readily apparent that each of the several branch circuits controlled by the respective switches 36 may be energized throughout varying periods daily, the time and duration of each said period being readily determinable and controllable through setting of the control arms 20 and 20a for each branch circuit. Such setting of the arms is facilitated by the arrangement of the wing nut 24 which may be loosened to permit such setting and by the calibrated dial 18, the calibrations of which will serve to indicate the angular positions of the several arms 20 and 20a in terms of the times at which such respective arms will function in the manner above mentioned to open and close their associated switches. Thus it becomes readily apparent that the invention provides a novel and useful automatic time controller for the purpose of controlling lights, boilers, signs and other equipment both in the home and in industry. Such controller will run continuously and may be set in predetermined manner to control the operation of the various circuits for an indefinite period of time normally requiring adjustment only at leap year at which time it may be manually reset by actuation of the resetting crank 26.
In Figure 4 there is diagrammatically illustrated an alternative arrangement of timing chain 182 for controlling the switch 164 of the master circuit 41, the circuit 41 being adapted for association with the several branch circuits 38-40 in the manner hereinbefore described in connection with the preferred embodiment.
The master switch 164 is constructed and arranged similarly to the switch 64, with its control arm 188 in operative engagement with the cam portions of the chain 182, which will be similar in all respects to the chain shown in Figure 5. It will be seen that the switch 164 is biased toward open position by a spring 165 connected to its mounting bracket 198, but is normally retained in closed position by engagement of its control arm 188 with the chain 182. However, as in the preferred embodiment, when one of the cam portions 86 of the chain is omitted to form a gap 90, reception of the arm 188 in such gap will permit opening of the switch 164, and as the gap 90 moves past the arm 188, in the direction of the arrow A in Figure 5, engagement of the arm 188 with inclined cam portion 92 will raise the arm to the level of the cam portions 86, to reclose the switch 164.
Thus the chain 182 and switch 164 of this modification cooperate in the same manner as in Figure 1, except that 6 the chain 182 is mounted and driven in a simplified and more compact manner than in Figure 1. In this connection, it will be noted that the chain is driven through gears 74, 76 and 78, as in the first embodiment. However, the chain 182 is supported around sprockets 180, 181, 183 and 184 in a plane at right angles to that of Figure l, or parallel to the rotational axis of gear 74, and has an inwardly projecting loop 182' disposed around a driven sprocket 190. Sprocket 190 is fixed on a rotatably supported shaft 191 on which is fixed a bevel gear 192 in driven engagement with a bevel gear 193 coaxially fixed to gear 78.
In the further modification of the timing element, as shown in Figure 6, said element comprises a flexible tape 182 of paper, plastic or other suitable material, which is supported around rollers 280 and 281. Roller 281 is merely an idler freely rotatable on a shaft or support 282, while roller 280 is fixed on a shaft 283 which is driven through bevel gears 284 and 180. Gear is fixed on the shaft 66 of Figure 1, which shaft in turn is driven from the clock motor 10 through the mechanisms earlier described.
The tape 182 is disposed with one edge in actuating engagement with the switch control arm 188, the said edge being formed as a cam profile and coacting with the switch control arm 188 and switch 164 in the same manner described in connection with Figure 4, the switch 164 being identical with that of Figure 4. Thus, the edge of the tape 182 which functions as a cam profile may be provided with indentations or gaps 192 adapted to permit opening of the switch 164 over predetermined periods.
In this application, I have shown and described only several of the possible forms or embodiments of the invention. However, it will be recognized that the invention is capable of other and different modifications, and that its several details may be modified in various ways without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description are to be construed as merely illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A time switch comprising a timing shaft, means ro tating said shaft at a constant speed, a pair of relatively angularly and axially spaced radial arms fixed on and rotating with said shaft, an electrical switch having a switch control element movable transversely to said shaft between first and second operative positions, in one of which the switch is opened and in the other of which the switch is closed, said element projecting into the path of rotation of one of said arms for operative engagement thereby, and movable with said one arm from its first to its second operative position, a latch, means supporting said latch for operative movement parallel to the rotational axis of said timing shaft into and from latching engagement with said element, said latch normally being positioned to releasably engage and retain said element in its second operative position, said latch including a cam carried by said latch in the path of rotation of the other said arm and operative responsive to engagement by said other arm for moving said latch to release said switch control element, and means associated with said element and operative upon release thereof for restoring said element to its said first position.
2. A time switch comprising a rotary timing shaft, means rotating said shaft at a constant speed, a radial arm fixed to said shaft for rotation therewith, an electrical switch having a switch control element movable transversely to said shaft between first and second operative positions to open and close said switch, a releasable latch retaining said element in one of its said operative positions, and means biasing said element toward its other said operative position, means supporting said latch for operative movement parallel to the rotational axis of said timing shaft into and from latching engagement with said in the rotational path of said arm and operative responsive to engagement by said arm to release said latch.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said last mentioned means includes a cam as aforesaid, said cam having a cam surface inclined axially to said shaft for causing axial displacement of the latch incident to engagement by said radial arm. 4. A time switch comprising a constantly rotating member having a radial arm fixed thereon, an electrical switch having a. switch control element movable between first ,and second operative positions to open and close said switch, a releasable latch retaining said element in one of its said positions, means supporting said latch for operative movement parallel to the rotational axis of said member into and from latching engagement with said element, spring means urging said latch into operative engagement with said element, and means biasing said element towards its other said position, said latch including a cam supported by the latch for movement therewith positioned for and operative responsive to engagement by said arm for releasing said latch.
5. A time switch comprising a rotating member having a pair of relatively angularly and axially spaced radial arms fixed thereon, an electrical switch having a switch control element movable between first and second operative positions to open and close said switch, said element projecting into the rotational path of one said arm and movable therewith from its first operative position to its second operative position, a latch resiliently mounted for operative movement generally parallel to the axis of said rotating member and normally operatively positioned to retain said element in its said second position, said latch including a cam surface normally in the rotational paths of both said element and said other arm said surface being inclined axially to the rotational axis of said rotating member to deflect said latch from the path of the said element when engaged by said element incident to-its movement to said second position, and to release said element when engaged by said second arm incident to its rotational movement, means being provided for automatically returning said switch control elementto its, said first position responsive to such deflection of the latch by said second arm.
6. A time switch comprising a rotating member having a pair of relatively angularly and axially spaced radial arms fixed thereon, a switch control element movable between first and second operative positions, said element projecting into the rotational path of one said arm and movable therewith from its first operative position to its second operative position, a latch resiliently mounted for operative movement generally parallel to the axis of said rotating member and normally operatively positioned to retain said element in its said second position, said latch including a cam surface normally in the rotational paths of both said element and said other arm, said surface being inclined axially to the rotational axis of said rotating member to deflect said latch from the path of the said element when engaged by said element incident to its movement to said second position, and to release said element when engaged by said second arm incident to its rotational movement, means being provided for automatically returning said switch control element to its said first position responsive to such deflection of the latch by said second arm.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,566,549 McMeen Dec. 22, 1925 1,964,909 Garity July 3, 1934 2,078,781 Sprenger et al Apr. 27, 1937 2,123,052 Kearsley July 5, 1938 2,141,024 Staley l Dec. 20, 1938 2,149,424 Devivo Mar. 7, 1939 2,174,331 Schroeder Sept. 26, 1939 2,272,237 Brown et al Feb. 10, 1942 2,323,411 Newman July 6, 1943 2,495,462 Lassiter Jan. 24, 1950
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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3070989A (en) * 1959-01-19 1963-01-01 Mine Safety Appliances Co Chromatographic system

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1566549A (en) * 1925-12-22 Circuit-controlling device
US1964909A (en) * 1933-07-14 1934-07-03 Walt Disney Productions Ltd Timer
US2078781A (en) * 1936-02-05 1937-04-27 Gen Electric Time switch
US2123052A (en) * 1936-04-28 1938-07-05 Gen Electric Timer
US2141024A (en) * 1938-12-20 Time cycle controller
US2149424A (en) * 1937-08-12 1939-03-07 Vivo Robert De Time controlled switching system
US2174331A (en) * 1936-09-26 1939-09-26 John W Silbaugh Control clock
US2272237A (en) * 1940-10-11 1942-02-10 Taylor Instrument Co Time cycle controller
US2323411A (en) * 1942-01-21 1943-07-06 Newman Arthur Control mechanism
US2495462A (en) * 1944-10-13 1950-01-24 Leon Y Lassiter Program clock

Patent Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1566549A (en) * 1925-12-22 Circuit-controlling device
US2141024A (en) * 1938-12-20 Time cycle controller
US1964909A (en) * 1933-07-14 1934-07-03 Walt Disney Productions Ltd Timer
US2078781A (en) * 1936-02-05 1937-04-27 Gen Electric Time switch
US2123052A (en) * 1936-04-28 1938-07-05 Gen Electric Timer
US2174331A (en) * 1936-09-26 1939-09-26 John W Silbaugh Control clock
US2149424A (en) * 1937-08-12 1939-03-07 Vivo Robert De Time controlled switching system
US2272237A (en) * 1940-10-11 1942-02-10 Taylor Instrument Co Time cycle controller
US2323411A (en) * 1942-01-21 1943-07-06 Newman Arthur Control mechanism
US2495462A (en) * 1944-10-13 1950-01-24 Leon Y Lassiter Program clock

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3070989A (en) * 1959-01-19 1963-01-01 Mine Safety Appliances Co Chromatographic system

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